How To Approach A Podcast Industry-Wide Education Initiative
In this episode of Sounds Profitable: Adtech Applied, Bryan speaks with U of Digital Managing Partner Shiv Gupta about what it means to create a comprehensive educational approach across an industry. Gupta comes to us by way of the digital marketing space, but has spent his career creating programming aimed at educating and serving across different sectors and levels within companies. Adtech Applied cohost Arielle Nissenblatt joins to set up the chat and break it down with takeaways at the latter half of the show.
Listen to learn about:
- Shiv Gupta’s career
- Why it’s important to create non-biased courses that educate on entire industries
- How Sounds Profitable plans to approach an education initiative
- Why we need your feedback on this podcast
Here’s our favorite idea from this conversation: creating opportunities for folks to learn, either if they’re new to a job or looking to move on to the next level, benefits everyone.
- Bryan Barletta
- Arielle Nissenblatt
- Shiv Gupta
- U of Digital
- Sounds Profitable Summit at Podcast Movement
- The Download
- Sounds Profitable: Narrated Articles
- Hosted by Bryan Barletta & Arielle Nissenblatt
- Audio engineering by Evo Terra
- Executive produced by Evo Terra of Simpler Media
- Sounds Profitable Theme written by Tim Cameron
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Arielle Nissenblat: Hey listeners. My microphone is making some weird popping and clicking noises. So just in case you hear that, just know that we are working on it and it hopefully won't be there next time.
What can digital marketing learning programs teach us about a comprehensive approach to education in the podcast space?
Bryan Barletta: That's what we're talking about today on Sounds Profitable Ad Tech Applied with me, Bryan Barletta.
Arielle Nissenblat: And me Arielle Nissenblat. We are supported by Podscribe. Podscribe is the essential tool to verify your podcast and YouTube ads run correctly. Audit of campaign for no cost today at podscribe. com.
Bryan Barletta: Special thanks to our sponsors for making Sounds Profitable possible. Check them out by going to soundsprofitable. com and clicking on their logos in the article.
Arielle Nissenblat: Bryan, it's the education episode. It's about how we learn what we do in the podcast space. How are you today?
Bryan Barletta: I'm great. Great. My youngest just turned one years old yesterday. So great time to talk about education as I cram learning books down his throat today.
Arielle Nissenblat: Aw, love that. Well, listeners, we want to hear from you because sometimes Bryan and I start at the top of the show. We chat a little bit. We check in what are you listening to? Where have you been in the world? How old is your child?
Sometimes we just get right into it. So we want to hear from you. Do you want to know how old Brian's children are? Do you want to know how hot it was when Arielle was in Spain last week? We'd love to know how much, how little detail you want from us. Bryan, what is your inclination?
Bryan Barletta: I think that we're going to get not enough responses. That's my inclination.
Arielle Nissenblat: And that's your challenge listeners.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah. And this is the challenge to everybody. You are listening to this because you work in this industry and you probably lamented, oh, when I put out a survey or I ask people a question, nobody responds to it. You are exactly that audience right now.
So prove them wrong and buy in and show how it works. And we'll share all that data. If you send us feedback through email, podcast@ soundsprofitable. com or you tweet at Arielle, myself or the Sounds Profitable podcast Twitter, we will take that seriously.
We'll respond back to you. We'll put it all together and share what the response is, but we're very, very happy to clean this up, move a little bit faster. We're also happy to be real people and talk through things here. So whatever works for you, we'd like to do.
Arielle Nissenblat: It's like the public radio member drives. I'm just going to go one more time. I'm going to tell you one more time why it's important for you to let us know how you're feeling. We'd love to hear from you. It helps us make the show better for you. And just as a quick example, I put in my newsletter that went out, we're recording this on a Monday morning.
Yesterday, earbuds went out, I put a little note at the top that said, " Welcome to the new subscribers. Hit reply. Let me know your favorite podcast that you're listening to right now. Why? Number one, because I would like to know. Number two, because it helps the spam filter know that I am not spam."
And so obviously it doesn't work the same in podcast land, but we would love to hear from you and your responses are absolutely not spam there. The opposite of spam, whatever that is. Okay. So Bryan, let's talk about education today on the show you're talking to Shiv Gupta, how did you first get in touch?
Bryan Barletta: I had been wandering into ad tech Twitter more and more lately to make sure that I can speak to the bigger changes that are happening all across ad tech and advertising and how they're coming into podcasting and Shiv was introduced to me. I'm blanking out on who, but probably someone with a meme account in the ad tech space, because that's the hot thing right now. And I just fell in love with what Shiv was doing. All the educational work that he was focusing on and how he built it to provide those services to as many companies as possible.
Arielle Nissenblat: So Shiv is the managing partner at U of Digital, and he will get into what that means. And you'll talk all about the founding of it and his career trajectory, what brought him to where he is today. But talk to me about the educational component of Sounds Profitable.
You've been talking about how important it is for when people start working in the podcast space for them to have a comprehensive understanding of what the podcast space is all about. Why is that so important for you?
Bryan Barletta: I think a lot of companies in podcasting really do a great job of educating people on what their company does, but they fail to educate people on what podcasting is because right now, as we see it, Spotify defines podcasting different than Acast different than ART19 different than everybody.
Everybody has a different view of what podcasting is. And so that education internally, which isn't built by an education team, which isn't a structured thing, but rather something that your manager hopefully put together or HR put together to walk you through lightly is going to be geared towards your company's biases.
So I started Sounds Profitable with the idea of answering as many questions as possible, providing access to that information, making it searchable through Google. A lot of the podcast questions tend to pop up on Google now as great results. So that's awesome.
And through the website, but education is more than that. It's a training program. It's a resource, it's something to re- up and refresh your knowledge. It's something to start off with or kind of grow into the next level. There should be tiers of it.
That's an area I'll admit that Sounds Profitable has failed at so far. We have high aspirations of getting into education and that's why talking to Shiv was so important to me. But right now it's just a bunch of content. And what we need to do is now that we're cutting on two years, we need to take that and group it.
Here's our articles about programmatic. Here's our articles about dynamic ad insertion. Here's what we think the 10 articles you should read if you're brand new to the space. Maybe even put it all together into an ebook, obviously for free.
Arielle Nissenblat: Hold off, hold off. We're talk about this after. I have ideas.
Bryan Barletta: Okay. We'll hit those ideas after the interview.
Arielle Nissenblat: Yes. We'll leave you with a little cliff hanger there. You got to tune into this interview and then you've got to tune into my takeaways afterwards. Bryan, why don't you introduce us to your conversation with Shiv?
Bryan Barletta: Awesome. I'm excited for all of you to listen to my really great conversation with Shiv Gupta of U of Digital to learn all about education in the digital advertising ecosystem.
Shiv, so glad to have you here today. I'm a big fan of everything you're doing, but for the people who are not familiar with you, I'd love for you to tell us a little bit about what you work on.
Shiv Gupta: Yeah. So thanks for having me. Really excited to be here, talking to you today. A little bit about me. I've been in ad tech my whole career. Was at AOL, a little company called AOL for about 10 years in operations and sales and sales leadership. I was at a company called Criteo, another big ad tech company. I was in sales there running a sales team and then four and a half years ago, I decided I wanted to dedicate my career to education.
So at that point I launched this company. We are called U of Digital and our mission, our goal, our vision is to bring clarity to the crazy ad industry, particularly digital advertising through education. This is an industry that's changing all the time. There's a lot of jargon, acronyms, confusion, and we want to make it simple and easy to understand by educating folks. So that's what I do pretty much with all my time.
Bryan Barletta: And that's why I'm such a big fan of what you're doing. I'm trying to do so many similar things in podcasting. Before I got to know you and what you're working on, that's the goal with Sounds Profitable was to teach these people who are in it day in and day out and kind of just pushing the button because the person before them told them to push the button and kicking the can down the road that they were told isn't important to them today.
I'm trying to say, " Hey, this is what that can is. This is what that button does. What happens if we try it a different way?" And that's really exciting to hear that in the bigger scope of advertising, there are people like you out there doing that. Did you have an education background at all?
Shiv Gupta: Not at all, actually. I majored in economics. The thing is I've always been passionate about teaching. So I just think back to like what I was doing before I did U of Digital. I always loved tutoring. So you always try to think about how you want to volunteer when you're getting ready for college applications.
That's a big thing. And so I was like, " Hey, the volunteering that I want to do for my college application is tutoring. Can I tutor people? Can I help some kids learn something that I feel like I know well?" So I was doing that in high school. And then even after that, when I was working at AOL, I was part of AOL University. So I was the guy that they would always tap to come in and train new hires.
And I was the guy that the marketing team would send out to train at Fordham University and talk about ad tech and evangelize for ad tech. And so I was always kind of doing it as a hobby. I also have a family of educators in a sense. My uncle is, I don't know, some kind of provost or professor at Florida International University down in Miami, which is really cool.
My dad really loved teaching me math when I was a kid. So that was his favorite thing to do with the kids is to teach us math. So I've got a little of that in my DNA, but no, not formally trained at all in education.
Bryan Barletta: Well, that's the big difference between me and you. I spent five years and then finally dropped out trying to be a history teacher and then fell into ad tech. So I got the upper hand there. No, but one of the things-
Shiv Gupta: You can teach me a little something about education at some point.
Bryan Barletta: Maybe. Maybe when I go finish that degree someday. In my journey through podcast ad tech and everything, it's been so much fun being at a specific company, but the most fun was starting Sounds Profitable because I got to talk to everyone.
And what I'm finding is that there are so many amazing people at each company who are experts at that company and only that company and lack any knowledge of the industry and how their company fits into it or the competitors. Mostly because they're not able to talk to their competitors or they're not able to be part of the industry at events and whatnot because of their position, their title, their role.
No one's going to fly them out to a major event. So for podcasting, that seems very normal. And that's why Sounds Profitable has honestly grabbed the foothold it has because there's so many people who want to learn. Is that common in other industries?
Shiv Gupta: 100%. The way I like to think about this is I want the listeners, I want you to think about for a moment, how does a company get started? You have a founder that has an idea or a vision. He or she builds a product, finds product market fit. And then you start hiring people.
You start bringing people into your orbit. And as you bring people into your orbit, I think the founders have to be really smart about what is the landscape like? Who else is out there? What are they doing? How are we going to build something that's unique, differentiated, interesting.
But then as they hire people and bring people into their orbit, they kind of naturally and organically feel like the best way to train those people or to get them to do what they want them to do is to get them to live and breathe that company and that product.
And they're not necessarily training those people that come into their orbit to be kind of external thinkers like they were. They're not training them to be founders. They're training them to be kind of like doers. And I think that's where kind of like the whole issue starts is that kind of moment of people joining something else that's bigger than them and then just kind of feeling like they have to stay in that lane and stay in that world.
And so it's true. I think in every industry, I think obviously more companies have more of an issue than others, but the vast majority of companies have this issue of people are really internally focused. They kind of all drink the Kool- Aid. They don't really think about what's outside. And I think companies exacerbate this by all the training that companies usually provide is on their own products and services.
They're not providing training on what's happening outside of a company's four walls because just fundamentally inherently the belief system that they've kind of adopted is about, hey, our stuff is the best. We have the best stuff. We've built the best stuff. We want, all our people thinking like that. And so we're only going to teach them about our stuff.
And I think what that leads to is a lack of, self- awareness a lack of understanding of where you might be weak relative to the competition. And that creates all sorts of downstream issues.
Bryan Barletta: And that's why I think it's so powerful for an industry to have leading sources. We have pod news and through Sounds Profitable we have The Download on Thursdays and the goal is to talk about everything that's happening in the industry, or that can touch on the industry so people can read that.
Maybe just one or two sentences, maybe 10 minutes on a podcast, but just be able to say, " Oh, that's similar to what I work on." Or, " Oh, that touches on a word or a key or something that I know about. I want to dig into it more, or I want to ask more people about it so that they can reach out of there."
But in the greater ad tech space, we started The Download literally because Evo and I were reading probably a hundred articles a week on the outer space of things that touch in any way on ad tech, advertising, business and podcasting and just deciphering it down. It can be overload.
And when I look at a company, how do they solve for this? How do they take this on internally? There's so many excuses I find at companies for why they don't dig into education. The amount of companies that have told me that I get an education stipend and the end of the day is just they're not going to help me figure out how to spend it.
They just will begrudgingly approve that expense. So how does a company solve for this? Is this reasonable for every company to do themselves? Or are there external partners like yourself? Is that more common outside of the podcast space?
Shiv Gupta: So first of all, I think just the acknowledgement that it is a need is honestly the biggest gap. So most of the companies that we talk to ... So we work with a lot of tech companies in the advertising industry and the vast majority of them, what we're trying to explain to them and convince them is, hey, this is a need. You need your people to be smarter about what's happening outside your company in order to sell more effectively, in order to build better products, et cetera, et cetera.
So if a company is even trying right to solve it internally that in itself is great job. Kudos. You're actually acknowledging that there is a need. You're trying to make your people smarter about what's happening outside. Good job. So I'd say that's the biggest gap right now is that kind of understanding of the need.
Let's say a company does understand like, hey, we have a need, let's try to solve this. If they try to tackle internally, I think there's a bunch of potential pitfalls. So first of all, usually those companies are trying to assign L and D folks. Learning and development folks to solve that external education type of problem.
Now, if you think about an L and D person, L and D people are usually awesome and traditionally trained in things like instructional design, in things like soft skills.
Bryan Barletta: Stuff that's in books, in colleges, not that's adapting and changing every single day.
Shiv Gupta: Right. Exactly. And so, L and D folks to give them this type of project or something like, " Hey, go and train everybody on all this confusing stuff that's happening in the industry outside of our company," you're putting those people outside their comfort zone.
And so I think that's a huge issue because L and D people aren't going to be experts on the space. So then they have to go out and find the expertise. Okay. So where do they go and find the expertise? They look internally. They say, " Okay, well, here's a product marketing person or here's a really smart salesperson that is the SME on this particular topic. And the SME will help me build the training." Okay, great.
Now, all of a sudden, a high paid salesperson that should be out in market talking to customer and bringing in sales and building pipeline has reallocated some of their high value time to building a deck and going on a road show and training a bunch of their colleagues.
And so the last part of this would be, let's say, that SME gets up in front of their colleagues and presents some topic about what's happening outside the industry. The way their colleagues then perceive that information is I'm getting the Kool- Aid version of this information.
I am getting the internal version of what's happening with my competition. And so all of that culminates into, I think, two key issues. One solving this external industry education problem internally is inefficient. Because they're taking valuable people's time and reallocating it to something that they probably shouldn't be doing and are now being overpaid to do.
And second of all those people, the SMEs, the product marketing people, they're not educators.
Bryan Barletta: Correct.
Shiv Gupta: So they're not really good at understanding instructional design or how to communicate. They're not good at scaling education across many different learners and attacking education from different mediums. And so not only is the internal education inefficient, it's also ineffective.
And it's also perceived to be a complete Kool- Aid show. So I think there's some issues there. Now don't get me wrong. I think of a company is trying, again, back to what I was saying originally, if a company is trying, that is awesome, good job. Keep trying, but that's where we come in as external resources and we say, " Listen, we could do this scalably, effectively, and efficiently for you. And when we come in as an external kind of objective agnostic, third party, the people are much more inclined to listen, to lean in, to kind of believe us."
And the value that we go out there and provide to companies and individuals more than anything is confidence. We give people confidence that the information is sound. It's coming from a place that's credible, and they can feel confident then going into market or building products that, okay, we got a good idea of what's happening in the space. We internalize that. And now we can incorporate it to do a better job.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah. I really like that. And I've taken a lot of the education courses that companies in podcasting have provided. And some of them are fantastic, but you're right. No matter how good they are, a little bit of me is just like, " Ah, I can see the marketing pitch. I can see where they had to justify this as a marketing outreach versus just education and whatnot, because they have to get clicks. They have to get signups. They have to get all that."
And my advantage is I can read through it and find the value in it. But yeah, it's unlikely you're going to go take your competitor's education course and really take it all to heart or even be allowed to take it. I think the big question that I have to follow up on that though is budgets.
I think budgets are a really tough thing, especially in a growing industry and maybe they are a tough thing. Or now I'm magically a CEO because Tom Webster joined and we're an official company instead of a one person SCorp upon a bunch of critical contractors that make everything work.
Budgets for these necessary things. It's easy to excuse them and push them away. What's your message to someone, a CEO or a leadership person who's trying to decide between education, which might cost to get the entire company set up for it, or trying to go out in their own? How do you help them justify that investment?
Shiv Gupta: Listen, I think that's tough, right? We're dealing with this all the time. You guys are dealing with it. It's tough. It's a tough case to make. I think now more than ever we are kind of in this age of empowering your people in interesting and new creative ways, which is great.
I think CEOs and leaders are smarter now and they have higher emotional IQ about what makes people tick. And it's not necessarily just giving people a few extra bucks or adding to the 401k match or anything like that and we obviously with the great resignation, we have a big retention problem in our industry right now.
And so there's so many studies out there, you could find them on HBR, of saying " Hey, the way in which you retain employees and you make sure they feel valued is you give them value in other ways.
You make them feel they are important. You invest in them in creative and interesting ways. So I'd say the way we do it is very straightforward. We basically kind of create an ROI model because our primary value prop right now is we help people build better products and we help people sell more of that product by making them smart about the space.
So it's very simple for us to kind of create a very basic ROI model, but it's hard. And L and D is tough because even if you do create an ROI model, there's always going to be noise. It's hard to kind of attach hey, I ran this training and then all these sales people went out and sold X more revenue.
Well, there was a ton of other things that happened along the way. And so it's not easy, but I think if you find the right leaders that believe in empowering people through knowledge and education, you could kind of make the case. And the good news is in 2022, more than ever, we have leaders from the millennial generation that care in that way.
Bryan Barletta: It's very real. There are people that I work with that will send me a quick text on something and I'll quickly reply to them. And they'll say that was worth everything. That quick answer and being able to share that info and get them what they need as fast as they need it was enough for them to find value.
And there are other people that I'll spend time on the phone with, and we can't quite figure out what their problem is or how to work well together. And they can't find the value or they can associate it to other things. And that's the hard part about it.
But the biggest thing that I think me and you both agree with is that this type of education, this information needs to be there for every level. I don't care about talking just to managers, directors, VPs, and C level.
I want to talk to the junior account manager who's like really excited and spending way too much time in the programmatic platform because that person is going to be the next leader. That's the person that we need to train up. That's the person who doesn't have an expense account to sign off on these things themselves, to sign up for newsletters that have paid entry for them to go to these events and in bigger encompassing education.
Don't just train the top, train every single person. Because it's about hunger and interest and excitement. And that person might key off of something in that education. And they might be your next leader. They might build out the next branch of your company that's critical to growth. So much value in taking a look at every single person you employ and making sure they're all educated.
Shiv Gupta: 100%. It's about creating a culture of learning. I love that term. Some leaders say it. Some mean it, some don't, but you could kind of show that you mean it by putting your money where your mouth is, but creating a culture of learning means everyone should be a teacher. Everyone should be a learner constantly.
It shouldn't be a one time event. It should be an ongoing process. We should create the resources so people have the ability to kind of learn on their own, but then we should also push on people to be learning all the time. So I think there are certain pillars that kind of go into that create a culture of learning. And I think to your point, it's super important that it kind of permeates across the entire org.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah. And I guess the last question I want to ask you is as podcasting continues to mature and we're doing really well at starting to educate people more and more. We don't have class structure quite like what you're offering, but the people in podcasting, programmatic has become such a big term lately.
What's the value of a day to day person in the podcast business to get an understanding and learn how advertising business works in display, video streaming, radio, all of those other areas. Do you think that's a high priority, medium priority or a low priority for people in podcasting today?
Shiv Gupta: It depends on where you sit, but at the end of the day, when you're talking about advertising, advertising's advertising. Advertising is a pie and there are different slices of that pie, but you're always kind of part of the same mix.
So let's say I'm a a buyer of media, I'm looking at the whole pie and I'm thinking about how to allocate across that pie. And I may take some parts of this and I may move it over here. And that might mean I might be moving budget around between podcasting and display and video.
It's something like advertising kind of spans a funnel and it spans different channels. And so I think any smart marketer, any smart salesperson, any smart operator or builder, it would be smart for them to think about the whole pie and understand the whole pie, think about how the marketer thinks about their funnel.
And be able to be nimble and figure out, okay, where do we fit in that pie? What role do we play? How can we shine maybe versus other parts of the pie? And so I am a strong believer in you want to understand those things so that when it comes to having a conversation, let's say with a customer about, " Hey, well, you're thinking about moving budget from podcasting over to video because maybe video's performing better or maybe you're moving money over to display because display is performing better."
Well, how does podcasting kind of bump up against those formats? And beyond just like looking at a KPI or performance, what are some of the other downstream impacts of moving budget between channels? Is there a branding halo effect that you get from podcasting that doesn't necessarily show up in your campaign report that you're not necessarily thinking about as a marketer?
So understanding those different channels, I think, is critical to be able to have those types of sophisticated conversations. Now, do I think somebody that just knows podcasting and can stay in that lane and do it really well, do I think that person has no value?
Absolutely not. There's a lot of value there. But I think you up level yourself. You get to that next strategic level if you can understand the whole picture, the whole pie. So that's how I would kind of think about it from an education perspective.
Bryan Barletta: No, I'm right there with you. I've met some amazing salespeople who just know podcasting and by not having that challenge, by not having the Kool- Aid that they drink challenge in any way, when someone's just like, " Ah, but download isn't a listen." They can just say, " Well, that's what we have in podcasting. That's how it works. It's super successful."
And they draw the line because they don't know anything else. So they have their back up against a wall in a good way. Then there's that middle valley where you know just enough to be like, " Well," (inaudible) and you get kind of beat up on pricing and you need to get over that gap and you need to understand well, okay, well what about out of home? What about terrestrial radio and television and mailers?
These things are all incredibly successful. What about the changes that are happening in siloed ecosystems? By when you get into that unsure place, when that Kool- Aid starts to air off, that's when you really need to challenge yourself to learn more.
Shiv Gupta: 100% and let's talk about sales for a second. Everyone nowadays likes to talk about consultative selling, solution selling, challenger selling. These are the most prominent sales philosophies that everyone agrees this is the way we should be selling in 2022.
In order to be a consultant, in order to be a challenger or a solution seller, you got to be able to talk big picture. If you just stay in your lane, you have a ceiling as a salesperson. Your ceiling is your channel. And once the marketer can't talk to you about anything above and beyond your channel, you all of a sudden lose the ability to influence, to inform, to be a trusted advisor.
And you lose the ability to have a really sticky and valuable relationship. And this is me now becoming a salesperson. And that's my path history. But yeah, I 100% agree with you on that point.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah. Well, so we talked a lot about this for the company side of it, so that a company can sign up with your service and help make sure that everybody on their team is educated.
If there are individuals out there that are looking to educate themselves and better themselves, is that a path that they can take and work directly with you?
Shiv Gupta: Absolutely. And we've been investing more in that. We plan on continuing to invest more in that. So today, if you're an individual, you want to learn more about this space, there's a couple things you can do. You could go to our website, uof. digital. Not . com, . digital.
You could sign up for two kind of key things. One is our newsletter. So the industry's crazy. There's a lot of news all the time, every week in the trades. It's overwhelming to try to keep up by reading everything. We kind of curate the most important stuff.
We add some opinion, we send it to your inbox every Wednesday or Thursday. We make it a 10 minute read. We make it fun and silly. We add some stupid GIFs. And that's a great way to kind of keep yourself informed. That's a $ 9 per month product, or we have a free version as well if you want to just (inaudible) top stuff.
Yeah. So that's number one. Number two, we now have a complete kind of online course on the fundamentals of all things digital advertising. And this is a five hour experience. It starts with the basics, the history, the background, the building blocks. And then we get into more intermediate and more advanced topics as well over that five hours. At the end, there's an assessment.
If you pass the assessment, you get certified, you share a badge onto social media and you could feel good, like I kind of am dangerous now on the space. We also have some mini courses that you can sign up for that aren't the full five hour thing.
So those are some of our touch points. We continue to add more every month, every few months. So expect more from us. We will continue to get better. We want to be able to solve for every possible learner out there in the digital advertising space. And that's our goal. That's our vision. That's our mission.
Bryan Barletta: That's awesome. That's so exciting to hear. I'm so glad that we had a chance to meet and thank you so much for coming on the show to talk all about this.
Shiv Gupta: Yeah. And hey, I love what you guys are doing. Keep it up. Awesome podcast. Awesome way to inform people. I'm a big fan. So thank you so much for having me. Thank you for the work that you do. Really, really appreciate it, Bryan.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah. Thanks man.
Arielle Nissenblat: Bryan, great conversation. You said so yourself right before we started, but I will validate you by saying it really was a great conversation. I love both of your energies. And I learned so much from how excited you both are about educating other people.
Talk to me about the future aspirations that Sounds Profitable has for education in the podcast space and for podcast ad tech. We sort of got to it before, but what do you mean by eBooks and maybe courses? What could that look like?
Bryan Barletta: Yeah, I think I want to pull it back further than just ad tech. I think Sounds Profitable, especially with Tom on board and what you and Evo bring to the table here, ad tech's a component of it. I think it's my strongest suit, but it's the business of podcasting.
That's what The Download focuses on. That's what all of these things that we built are. So I want to provide something that would be great for someone who looks at a job and says, " Oh, this is perfect for me, but I don't have podcast experience," and be able to go through a course or read something or get a shiny sticker or badge that basically tells the world, " Hey, I've learned this stuff."
And we see great examples of it. A little bit biased ones, SXM Media has a really cool podcast course, but it does sell pretty heavily on it. I think it's aq. academy and I'm really excited by things like that. But the Sounds Profitable version would be before you apply for a job or when you're brand new at a job, an onboarding into the industry because learning podcasting should be the easiest thing.
Everybody can reinforce it once you have a baseline, but whatever skill you're bringing into the space we need. We're kind of an echo chamber right now. And we need people outside skills and experience. So I picture it's audio, video, text. I picture it's a book format or it's a course that can be taught at podcast movement or other events like a day long intensive or on site.
The biggest problem is that right now, what we do is we put out topic based information and what we need is someone to help us mash that all together. Now we have been talking to a few people, Evo's wonderful wife, Sheila is probably going to help us with that later in the year, but it's just figuring out how all these pieces fit together and how we can get that ready and accessible for as many people as possible so that more people can join the space.
Arielle Nissenblat: And there are many reason that a company would invest in buying a course like this or giving their employees time to take a course like this. One of those is just that employees who continue to stay educated in their field of expertise, continue to bring ideas to the company and those ideas might become something much larger that helps the company grow.
So once this course is ready to go, we envision it being available to like Brian said, both people who are new to the space as in how to get a job. Once they get the job, how to keep the job, how to stay in touch with the industry publications and how to integrate themselves into the industry on the whole, but then also continuing education for people who have been in their jobs for five plus years.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah. That's the goal and I don't want to charge for it. I don't think that fits the goal of Sounds Profitable. We want everybody to be educated and find it accessible and to be light on the branding or sponsorship, at least on the input from brands and sponsorship.
It might be branded and sponsored because that's how we're able to do so many cool things there because those brands and sponsors support us and support our decisions to build this content neutrally. But yeah, I think the future people leading this space are in desperate need of more education than just the echo chamber of their own company.
Because if they leave or go somewhere else, they might find their skills don't actually transfer or worse. They might be taking something that they were taught, learning about half of it passing on that half knowledge to someone who learns about half of it.
And then you get into the situation of this process is garbage. Why do we do it? Oh, we've always done it that way. And it becomes hard to challenge it as that person goes from junior to manager to director to VP. We need to open up to new ideas. That's really one of the values of being in an open ecosystem. So we need to lean into it.
Arielle Nissenblat: One of the ideas that I just want to go back to that you and Shiv discussed was that employees at all levels and at all departments on the whole, not just their product, but how that product or brand or idea fits into the industry on the whole.
And that's also a concept that you and Alyssa spoke about in one of our recent episodes of Sounds Profitable, which is that she needs to, Alyssa Myers from Marketing Brew, Alyssa is a reporter at Marketing Brew and she needs to be able to talk to people who know how their product or perspective fits into the industry on the whole.
If you can't speak to the whole picture, you sort of lose the trust of the person that you're selling to, or the person that you're just trying to have an interaction with because they need to know that you're not just shilling for your product.
Bryan Barletta: That's the hard part, or you become a super specialist. You become that person who comes out who only knows about the product you speak about the product. Someone asks a question about the entire ecosystem and that's more of a high level person that handles that.
But to me that feels goofy. That feels hiring two people or one person to shepherd five different specialists around to different things. It doesn't seem cost effective when everybody could learn how all of this connects together. And honestly we could, as an industry benefit a little bit more from everybody taking a step back and saying, " I don't know the answer to that right now. I'll get back to you by tomorrow," and just digging in and just finding that answer. That's okay. Nobody needs that on the spot.
Arielle Nissenblat: Okay, Bryan. Well, thank you so much for sharing that conversation with Shiv. I learned a lot. I hope our listeners learn a lot and of course I hope they let us know that they learned a lot.
Bryan Barletta: Yeah, definitely check out U of Digital. I know they're going to expand at some point into more audio work and Shiv and team have been trying to make this accessible to individuals instead of just funded companies. So the prices are definitely worthwhile.
They're on the higher end, but when you're looking into higher education in an niche field like advertising, I think they're super worth it. So please check them out. Please sign up for their newsletters. Follow Shiv. Great fonts of information over there.
Arielle Nissenblat: Listeners, as you know, we want to hear from you, please reach out if you have any questions or comments. We're on Twitter @ soundsprofnews, @ BryanBarletta or @arithisandthat. And if you want to send us an email that's podcast@ soundsprofitable. com
Bryan Barletta: And this show is recorded with SquadCast, the best place to record studio quality video and audio for content creators. SquadCast is the backbone of Sounds Profitable's podcast, deep dive, and soon to be research and live event recording. So please, please check out SquadCast. I love it. I know you will too. So check out a seven day free trial at squadcast. fm.
Arielle Nissenblat: Want more from Sounds Profitable? We have two more podcasts that you can explore. First up is Sounds Profitable, the narrated articles and next The Download, our podcast about the business of podcasting. Find links to them in the episode description. And thanks to you for listening to this episode of Sounds Profitable Ad Tech Applied with me, Arielle Nissenblat.
Bryan Barletta: And me Bryan Barletta.